On the bright side of the unimportant things that happened to Lionel Messi this week, he was endorsed by an all-time great as the best footballer in the world today. But bad “news” also came, as allegations of him being a dictator in the Barcelona dressing room came up again.
Not that it really makes a difference, but Brazilian Ronaldo, or as some call him, the “real Ronaldo”, gave Messi his two thumps up over Cristiano Ronaldo in the never ending debate. Why? No concrete reason or deep analysis. Just like for most of us, it’s a matter of gut feeling, that we try to explain with bigger, more impressive words.
I would stick with Messi. It is difficult. It is like when you are looking to buy a house and they offer you many nice ones, but you need to pick one. Messi seems more complete to me, or at least more decisive. In the important moments, he appears and scores goals.
The worst part of the week, if Messi actually paid attention, was Swedish manager Hans Backe bringing up an alleged story about Messi humiliating Pep Guardiola during their first season together with Barcelona, which was the season Messi took one huge step to the front of the global stage, becoming the popular choice for best player in the world, while Barcelona won every possible title and places itself as the best club in the world.
According to Backe, it was one big incident over one can of coke, and it would have probably be called Coke-Gate if it would have happened in the United States.
It was three hours before the match, all the players were sitting and eating, when Messi said he wants a coke. No, no, we don’t drink a cola three hours before the match,’ Guardiola replied. So Messi got up from his chair and returned a few minutes later with a can of cola, which he then opened and drank right in front of Guardiola and the rest of the team.
Backe refused to comment on his sources, but some suggest it might have been Thierry Henry, who has been playing with the New York Red Bulls, where Backe has coached until last year. Henry played next to Messi for three seasons at the Camp Nou.
Truth or false, gossip is always entertaining, and makes you think you get to see a slice of life from a player that rarely shows anything beyond what he does on the football pitch. However, it’s hard to believe something like that would have happened because Guardiola lasted three more seasons after that with Barcelona, and never at any point did it seem like he was having a strenuous relationship with his biggest star.
But this is just part of the business. Between praises about your superiority to the rest of the world and especially in the comparison with Cristiano Ronaldo, come stories that are an attempt to bring someone down from his own personal Olympus. Something tells me Messi will survive this PR clip on the wing, and it won’t affect his goal tally on the pitch.